Her Worship: Hazel McCallion and the Development of Mississauga
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Published: March 2009© 2009
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 336 Pages
Dimensions: 6.00 x 8.96
336 Pages, 6.00 x 8.96 x 0.82 in
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Mississauga is Canada's sixth largest city and its largest suburban municipality. Toronto's upstart western neighbour, with its multicultural population of more than 700,000, is a place not only of endless subdivisions and monotonous industrial parks, wide thoroughfares, and even wider expressways, but also of some distinctive older communities, notable lakefront and riverside parks, and occasionally bold architecture. Hazel McCallion, Mississauga's octogenarian mayor, is a national celebrity and a municipal icon. Head of the city council since 1978, she holds a position with limited formal authority but remains the virtually undisputed - and often feared - leader of this sprawling city.
The first full-length study of McCallion's politics and the development of Mississauga, Her Worship examines the mayor's shrewd pragmatism and calculated populism. Tom Urbaniak argues that McCallion's executive skills and dynamic personality only partially explain the mayor's dominant and pre-emptive political position. He points also to key historical and geographical factors that contributed to a kind of civic stability - but also to stagnation and missed opportunities - in a place that had once been fraught with political rivalry and heated conflicts over future growth. A fascinating account both of a remarkable public figure and of an area that is emblematic of "edge city" development in North America, Her Worship is a fresh look at municipal governance and politics in rapidly growing communities.
'Tom Urbaniak has done an excellent job in researching the material for this book. It captures the essence of Mayor Hazel McCallion from her days as head of government in Streetsville and now, for a very long time, as the Mayor of Mississauga. Her Worship accurately represents the contribution she has made and makes it clear that Hazel is a leader among heads of municipal governments in this country.' The Honourable William G. Davis, P.C., C.C., Q.C., former premier of Ontario
'Her Worship is an encyclopedic story of the development of Mississauga and a masterful interweaving of research and observation. Even though Hazel McCallion has been known to incite strong feelings in observers this book is neither a polemic nor a paean of praise as these works can sometimes be. Tom Urbaniak has done a good job of telling McCallion's and Mississauga's stories in a balanced and even-handed way. He has produced a piece of solid and serious work that is at the same time a good read.' David Siegel, Department of Political Science, Brock University
'Hazel McCallion, the unchallenged mayor of Mississauga for thirty years, is of national renown and Tom Urbaniak's deft political biography uncovers an enigmatic figure. Her Worship is a surprising and fascinating book.' John Sewell, former mayor of Toronto and author of Shape of the City and Shape of the Suburbs
'Tom Urbaniak has produced an engaging and enjoyable book that will appeal to anybody interested in the development of Mississauga and the career of Mayor McCallion. Her Worship adds to our understanding of municipal politics in Canada, about which too little is written and published.' Neil Thomlinson, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University